Being at university is a great opportunity to learn to cook. Get creative, it will benefit your pocket and your health!
When you live away from home for the first time, cooking can present a bit of a challenge. Many students are tempted to eat out or live on takeaways. Others are determined to have a go at cooking but find that they know very few recipes so they end up cooking the same things over and over.
How could this affect me?
Eating out and getting takeaways frequently can be really expensive, and some students find that they run out of money before the term is over. More importantly, takeaways and (cheaper) restaurants usually offer very few healthy eating choices.
Financial struggles from over spending on food and unhealthy eating habits can affect your mental health, so why not try the cheapest and healthier option? Cooking at home also comes with additional benefits as you'll see below.
What to do next?
Explore recipes on YouTube, you can find hundreds of recipes with step-by step instructions.
Practical tips: Recipes
Some of our students have shared their trial-and-tested recipes to get you started. By far the easiest thing one student learnt how to cook is:
- meat of your choice
- some vegetables (again whatever you want really)
- chicken stock broth
I’d usually grill a pork steak because you can get them for around £2.80 for five at Tesco's which is pretty damn cheap for that quantity of meat. While that’s grilling stick the noodles in a pan half full of water and heat it to the point to just below it boiling over, they’re done when the noodles have separated completely from one another and have completely lost any real sense of being stiff.
The chicken stock’s somewhat subjective as I prefer a thicker broth but if you prefer it thinner just use one stock cube. To make the broth put around 250/300ml of water and stick the stock cubes in once it’s heated up a bit so they don’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Leave the pan with the stock in it on a pretty high temperature as I find this is the best way to get rid of lumps of chicken stock, as an aside I also add a teaspoon of soy sauce or so, gives the broth actual flavour.
For vegetables I just dice two spring onions and add it to the bowl after everything else is in there. It’s not only really easy to cook but it’s pretty versatile too. If I ever got bored of it I smothered it in sriracha sauce and fried an egg to have with it, makes for some decent and inexpensive variety.
This toolkit is an adaptation of the Autism&Uni project led by Marc Fabri from Leeds Beckett University, under license CC BY 4.0. The original Autism&Uni project was funded with support from the European Commission with partners in the UK, Finland, the Netherlands, Poland and Spain. For more information about this project please visit the Autism&Uni website.